28/11/2019

Frugal festivities: don’t get caught short this Christmas

28/11/2019

Frugal festivities: don’t get caught short this Christmas

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With the countdown to the most magical time of year officially on, thoughts quickly turn to party nights, that all-important dinner on December 25 and the quest to find the perfect present begins.

However, Christmas isn’t always the season to be jolly for everyone – especially for those living with money worries.

The cost of the ‘perfect Christmas’ is ever rising, and it can be all too easy to feel like we’re being pushed to spend our money before we want to.

According to the Bank of England households across the UK typically spend more than £800 extra in December compared to the rest of the year – making it imperative to be prepared for the festive rush.

Christmas on a budget doesn’t need to be something reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There are simple steps you can take to make sure your financial situation doesn’t dim the bright lights of the festive season.

Gift-giving made simple

Part of the joy of Christmas is buying presents for your nearest and dearest, however, there’s no escaping the price tag attached to this act of kindness.

When you start to plan your festive shopping list, it’s important to be realistic about the number of gifts you need to buy.

Do you really need to buy something for every single person you know?

Don’t feel obliged to buy something for all your extended friends and family. Put in a present ban with those you feel you can to help avoid the gift guilt situation. If you feel this is a bit harsh, why not set a limit on the spending amount with those you can.

Christmas magic – for less

Christmas isn’t simply about the money or the presents for your kids. It’s about the wonder behind it and the memories that are made.

You don’t have to break the bank to sprinkle some magic. From homemade advent calendars and watching snuggling up to watch your favourite Christmas film to driving around to check out the Christmas lights and winter walks; there are plenty of ways to make memories without even spending a penny!

Budget beforehand

It can be very easy to just buy everything on your list without really thinking about how much you’re spending. This then leaves you to go into the new year with a financial hangover.

But it is possible to avoid this. Setting out your budget beforehand and basing it on what you know you can afford will help prevent overspending and still give everyone a great day.

Lists are key

Never do your Christmas shopping on a whim. This leads to impulse spending on gifts that you may have been able to get elsewhere for less.

Much like Santa, make a list of everything you need to buy and check it twice before you hit the high street. You can also check the prices online to know what you’re spending, which then helps make sure you stick to it.

Saving for Santa

According to statistics published by news outlet, The Independent, families with children under the age of 18 can end up spending over £2,000 over the festive period – with gifts making up the majority of this. As such, it’s no wonder that a lot of people turn to credit or borrowing to help them get through.

Start saving as early as you can to give yourself a nice little bundle of money when it comes time for you to be Santa’s helper. That way you won’t be left with the high-interest bill later on and you’ll be able to work this into your budget easily.

If you feel you can’t afford to save, we’re here to help. Click here to find out more about saving on a low income.

Got debt worries? Get help today

Unfortunately, Christmas isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year for those dealing with money worries.

If you’re struggling with debt and are looking for free and confidential advice, talk to Carrington Dean’s expert advisors on 0808 2085 195.

You could write off up to 75% of unsecured debt with our debt assistant.

Check if you Qualify

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